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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

Topic author: Vulch
Subject: Interesting observation......
Posted on: 09/08/2004 12:39:29 AM

Just a general observation I have noted over the years of looking at and collecting Arisakas. Dust covers - or lack of on a LOT of US examples!

I read MRJ with earnest when it arrived from Fred. I immediately noted again the lack of dust covers in a VAST majority of pictured rifles. I put that down to ommission for detail clarity, but then I looked at a lot of photos here, and elsewhere on the web - a general lack of dustcovers on US based T99's.

Is this a common thing in the USA - no dust covers on Arisakas? Here in Australia, not only are dust covers COMMON place on Arisakas, so are unground mums.

Just a general observation.


Reply author: car99
Replied on: 09/08/2004 03:03:38 AM
Vulch, could be dust covers were regarded the same way condoms were here years ago as just something getting in the way. By the way, I need one for my T99.

Reply author: Ronin48
Replied on: 09/08/2004 07:52:07 AM
Just my theory - Bolts (and covers) removed fropm rifles when rifle brought on board ship and placed in a container. After arriving U. S. rifle owner removed bolt from container, in many cases cover had fallen off. Over the years I've owned several rifles with the cover matching the bolt, neither matched the rifle. This is a case where cover stayed with the bolt and was retrieved with bolt. Be my guess that at the bottom of every harbor where ships returned from the Occupation are piles of rust marking the graves of covers left in the container when all bolts had been retrieved. Sailor heaved the remainder over the side.

Reply author: CW
Replied on: 09/08/2004 1:09:06 PM
I never believed the stories of Japanese soldiers tossing away the dust cover. I know the Australians did do some occupation duty, but do you think the majority of Arisakas there are battlefield pick-ups? Thanks for the input Vulch.

Reply author: fox1dog
Replied on: 09/08/2004 3:54:19 PM
Am no expert but had an Uncle that did his WWII in the pacific, he was army. He claims the grinding of mums was done by the US troop as a create work project, just like picking up trash. Some were done by hand, files, others by some heavy grinders. It would give some credence to more mums in Australia, less in the USA. I suspect some vet of the troop transports could contribute how weapons were stored.

Reply author: Vulch
Replied on: 09/08/2004 9:33:20 PM
A LOT of Arisakas here are vet bringbacks, and MOST I have seen are UNGROUND. I suppose a great deal are in fact either battlefield pick-up, or pick up from stores in New Guinea etc.

Also, a good number of Arisakas here are imports from China. Usually spot those, as they are in APPALLING condition as a rule!

One thing you NEVER find here is damned japanese slings. I need an original for EACH of my rifles.

Reply author: arisakadogs
Replied on: 09/08/2004 10:46:23 PM
Like CW, I've never believed that the Japanese discarded the dust covers. They are present in every photo or film seen of them using early rifles. I also can't buy them taking them off for "stealth" in the jungle. I'm sure they went into action with a round chambered & the safety on. Once that first shot is fired who cares about the cover rattling! It also wouldn't make that much noise while marching unless you're jiggling the heck out of it. I believe the reason so many are missing (and the slings too) are that our GIs simply threw them away. Or took them off & lost them.

Reply author: Nagoya10
Replied on: 09/09/2004 05:20:28 AM
Slings are missing on nearly all vet bringback military rifles, from any nation. This usually occured from dealers who removed them to sell separately for greater profit. Its hard to say what happens to most dustcovers. Maybe GI's tossed them, but maybe also the Japanese soldiers did too as it had to get in the way during cleaning and loading.

Reply author: richigan
Replied on: 09/09/2004 08:05:08 AM
Of all the possible T99's I own that would have dust covers, none of them have the dust covers! Very rarely do any come up for sale with the matching dustcover. I have a few T38's with matching covers, and this is my theory...

The covers are hard to figure out on their installation, and in the heat of battle, I feel they were thrown away. I have taken my covers off of the T38's, and it took me awhile to get them properly back on. Is there anyone on the board who has fired a Japanese weapon with the covers on? It would be interesting to hear accounts of rifles being fired, and fast shooting with the covers on..I just love how we try to figure out these historic rifles..

Reply author: arisakadogs
Replied on: 09/09/2004 08:59:05 AM
I'm convinced that the Japanese never threw their dust covers away. Why would you pull your bolt in the heat of battle?? A matching dust cover is carefully fitted & does nothing to hamper operation of the bolt. Check out original period photos & films. The dust cover is always in place.
Now, when the rifle was picked up by a GI & cleaned or disassembled for the first time - that's probably where most were discarded. For those unfamiliar with these weapons it can be difficult to get the bolt back in place with it's cover.

Reply author: CW
Replied on: 09/09/2004 3:21:50 PM
I gotta agree with AD. Since cleaning kits were issued with the officers, and that rifle screws were staked, it would indicate that the average Japanese soldier was not encuraged to detail strip/mess with his rifle. Not to mention all the reports from the Russo-Japanese War and Nomahan mentioning the fact that the bolts were frozen with dust makes me believe that officers would be quite strict on DC removal.

US soldiers, on the other hand, were always taught to strip their rifles, practically in their sleep. Replacing a dust cover is an annoying task, and I'm sure many GI's just tossed them if they got too frustrated with it.

I have fired my T99 with it's DC and don't find it too annoying. I can't say that I've done any rapid fire shooting, so until we start seeing some translated Japanese soldier biographies, I guess we will never really know.

Reply author: gwsiii
Replied on: 09/09/2004 3:49:05 PM
The Japanese needed metal. There are pictures of scrap metal drives all over Japan in several different publications. I sort of feel like a/a wings, dustcovers, and monopods were considered usable scrap and removed/collected where available in the factories, storage warehouses, and in the field where possible.

For dustcovers, a rifle shot is much louder than a bolt with dustcover being worked, I don't think noise was the issue. An M1 garand makes a louder sound putting a round in the chamber than an Arisaka with dustcover. If they did find piles of dustcovers, they were probably there to be collected at a later date. One books shows pictures of 'metal drives' as early as 1941 if I remember correctly (Time Life Pearl Harbor?, will correct later). I've heard of boxcars in China at the end of the war loaded with scrap metal (dust covers included) awaiting transport for re-use by the Japanese. Some importers bought some of these by the ammo can full in the late 70's early 80's from China. If a Japanese Sergeant would beat the 'snot' out of a soldier for being without his 'cover' ("cap" - BANZAI Chatting Vets), they wouldn't take kindly to them dismantling their weapons without specific orders to the fact. Just my 2% of that dollar. Trey

Reply author: arisakadogs
Replied on: 09/09/2004 10:08:00 PM
I fully agree with Trey on his points. This is evidenced by the minty arsenal pickups at the end of the war that were often missing their "superfluous" steel parts.
My point has always been that the individual Japanese soldier in the field did not discard his dust cover as some "experts" claim. I base this on hard evidence. There are many combat photos & films of Japanese troops in action. Never, is the cover seen missing.
I have a photo of my Dad on Okinawa posing with a T-99 after the battle. The dust cover is intact. Granted the covers were apparrently deleted during the 5th series. But if it came with the rifle, you can bet it stayed on the rifle. At least till it was picked up by a GI! (or was ordered off - in a scrap metal drive)

Reply author: Jareth
Replied on: 09/09/2004 10:52:29 PM
And I concur with you gents. Always felt the same regarding dust covers & slings. This is one subject I think we can put to bed.

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